Anyone who has ever attended a presentation has experienced that lackluster presenter who left you counting down the minutes until you could finally escape. In fact, most people attend a presentation with the expectation that it will be boring. Why not be the presenter who blows their minds and leaves everyone saying “wow!” If you want to get your audience’s attention, you can’t be afraid to liven things up with a little fun and creativity.
Use Your Audience
There’s no better way to keep your audience awake and engaged than by using them in your presentation. Ask questions and actually call on people to answer. Have them move around the room to demonstrate statistics. For example, instead of showing a slide that says “20% of people think this way” actually have 20% of the audience move to one side of the room. You can also have the chairs set up in a 20/80 arrangement and explain during your presentation why they are set up that way. You can ask a question and hide the answer under the chairs. There are countless possibilities for engaging your audience but don’t forget that the audience itself is your greatest presentation tool.
Customize Your Presentation
It is so important to know your audience before you give your presentation. This allows you to customize your presentation based on the audience. For example, if you are pitching an idea to an audience that is predominantly female, you might use anecdotes or statistics that females can relate to. If you are presenting to a younger audience, use fresh content and current pop culture to capture their attention. Customizing your presentation gives people something they can relate to and helps to keep their attention.
Many people view presentations as a formal speech that has to be serious. They are afraid to use humor for fear that they aren’t funny. Adding humor to your presentation does not require having stand-up comedy skills. There are a number of ways to add humor without telling jokes. Use funny memes or video clips to illustrate your points. Incorporate funny pictures or use a song to introduce your next slide. People like humor and they like to laugh. It makes an impression on your audience and gives them something to remember.
Tell a Story
A presentation is like a story in many ways. You are talking about a specific topic and taking the audience on a journey to learn more about it. You can personalize this technique by telling a story that relates to your topic. People love a good story and it gives them something to relate to. Stories can be used to evoke all sorts of emotion from laughter, smiles, tears, and surprise.
Using props can quickly turn a boring presentation into a unique, interactive experience. Choose props that help illustrate your points. You can even use people from the audience in a demonstration. Props keep things interesting and help people make a visual connection with what you are saying.
Make a Provocative Statement
You might begin your presentation with a slide that simply says “People don’t care about your brand.” It leaves the audience wondering how you are going to justify that statement. It is thought-provoking and unexpected so it is something audiences will remember. Leading with a provocative statement entices people to listen to what you have to say.
Communicate with Images
You don’t have to give the traditional PowerPoint chock full of content and boring information. Try using images, memes, or video clips instead to illustrate your points. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words so it is a unique way to communicate concepts to your audience. Images are a great way to enhance what you are saying and emphasize your message.